Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. We receive a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
- Truly wireless headphones are great, but they can sometimes fall out a little too easily, which can be annoying especially in the middle of a workout or busy commute.
- The Phiaton Curve BT 120 NC wireless earphones ($79.99) still give you the benefits of being untethered to your phone, but also have a neckband that helps keep everything in place and give you easy access to a control panel for your sound.
- I’ve been wearing the earphones a lot recently, and I’ve found them to be a great value for the price.
Exercising with truly wireless headphones is great. Being totally untethered lets you move freely throughout your workout, without any fears that your music will suddenly stop and ruin your flow — that is, until your little earbud falls out and flies across the rapidly moving treadmill mid-workout.
If that’s ever happened to you, you know it’s a nuisance. Regular wireless earbuds have a limited range of motion, so they’re out of the question (at least for me). But over-the-ear wireless headphones are too clunky and can’t stand up to any perspiration that comes with a training session.
So, where do you turn for a good pair of headphones that you can use in the gym and beyond? Wireless headphones with a thin neckband are a great choice. If you’re looking for a great value too, you should check out Phiaton’s newest headphones.
Phiaton is known for making premium, wearable audio devices at relatively affordable prices. The brands latest Bluetooth earphone model — the Curve BT 120 NC — is no exception. I’ve been wearing these headphones to lounge around, work out, and commute — and I’ve been pretty impressed at all of the features they offer for the $79.99 pricetag.
The design of the earphones is sleek and comfortable. They come in two neutral colorways, either all white or all black. The flexible neckband rests behind your neck and is very lightweight, so you barely even notice that it’s there. You also get two sizes of ergonomic ear wings and three sizes of ear tips to make sure the buds themselves fit you just right.
On the neckband you’ll also find a control panel — it’s intuitive to use and also offers some pretty cool and practical features. There’s the basic power on/off and volume controls, which also are used to skip, pause, or replay music. The power button can also be used to pick up, or reject, calls when you don’t have time to reach for your phone. There’s also a small microphone just a few inches away from the control panel, so if you do decide to take calls, you won’t have to awkwardly talk into your phone.
While many headphones completely pause your music for an incoming call, the Phiaton Curve BT 120 NC earphones uses a vibration instead. If you have voice commands on your phone, you can use these headphones to make hands-free calls — you just need to press the call/power button, wait until you hear a beep tone, and then give your voice commands.
You’ll also find a small button on the side of the panel labeled "NC". This button controls the noise-cancelling aspect of the earphones. When the LED light is off, the noise-cancelling feature is also off. If you hold that button down, the LED light will turn green, and noise-cancellation will turn on. This is a useful feature, as there are some situations — like commuting on a crowded subway — when you just want to tune everything out. Other times though — like when you’re walking or biking — the noise-cancelling feature can be dangerous, as it can block out important sound signals, like alarms and horns.
One of my favorite features of these earphones is how quickly they charge. To get a full charge (8.5 hours worth of music without noise-cancelling on) the earphones need to be charged for two hours. But, if you’re in rush , just five minutes of charging will hold you over for an hour. So, if you decide to go on a run on a whim, you don’t need to prolong your start time due to the fact that you forgot to charge your earphones overnight. To charge, there’s a small USB cable that can be plugged in just about anywhere.
Another great feature is the IPX4 sweat and water resistance. The IPX4 rating means that these are protected from light rain and heavy perspiration. While this isn’t a super-high rating, it’s more than enough for running outside when it’s drizzling or for a sweaty gym session.
Then, of course, there’s sound quality. I’m not a serious audiophile, but I listen to music a lot, so I won’t waste time or money on bad quality sound. These sound great to me; so far everything has come out clear, rich, and balanced. For the tech specs, they use 12 mm drivers and a dual-layer carbon paper to enhance the sound. When you engage the noise-cancelling feature, you can really get lost in their sound.
The comfortable fit, convenient and easy-to-use features, and the affordable price of just $79.99 make these a great pair of earphones. They may not be the most premium pair on the market, but for under $100, they’re pretty darn good.
- The $40 Magic Bullet blender from infomercials of yore was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made — 10 years later, I’m still using it
- The best mobile printers for your smartphone
- The Chobani Food Incubator helps young food startups off their feet — here are 7 companies it has supported